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  • Writer's pictureOlga Shavrina

Why Eco-Friendly Hair Brushes & Combs Are Better than Plastic Ones?

Updated: Apr 20

Hair brushes and combs are not items we purchase every day, so the impact of choosing a sustainable option over a traditional one might not seem huge. However, considering that each person uses more than one brush or comb, might purchase a new one every few months, and multiplying that by the 8 billion people on the planet, the cumulative effect becomes significant. So, let's explore how to choose more sustainable hair supplies.

Panda Approves: Eco-Friendly Hair Brushes and Combs

What Materials Are Eco-Friendly Hair Brushes Made of?

Eco-friendly hair brushes are often made from sustainably sourced wood or bamboo and recycled aluminium. For bristles, options include plant fibers, boar bristles (which I'll comment on later), or recycled synthetic materials for a vegan alternative. Many of them are designed to be biodegradable, especially those made from wood, bamboo, and natural fibers.

What about sandal wood hair comb? It’s tempting no doubt. It smells divine and transfers its aroma to hair. However, I really doubt that sandalwood is harvested sustainably, so I stick to the more trustworthy bamboo option.

Eco-Friendly Bamboo Hair Brushes

Of course, everyone has their own preferences regarding the shape, form, handle, tooth size, and count of a hair brush, so I won’t say that one brush is better than another. Let me just list a few eco-friendly options that you can use to start your search from.

Why Are Bamboo Brushes Better than Wooden Ones?

First of all bamboo brushes are better for the Planet. Bamboo, which is actually a grass, grows at an astonishing speed—much like... well, grass. It’s sustainable, eco-friendly and helps to protect forests.

Furthermore, bamboo has antibacterial properties due to a substance called 'bamboo kun,' which is antibacterial, antifungal, and odor-resistant. It’s no surprise that pandas are fond of it :) Thus, bamboo hair combs and brushes are not only more sustainable but also more hygienic compared to their plastic or even wooden counterparts.

Check out this post about amazing bamboo toilet paper if you want to know what else can be made from bamboo.

Eco-Friendly Bamboo Hair Combs

For those who prefer combs, here are a few eco-friendly bamboo options:

Being 'eco-friendly' doesn't only mean avoiding plastic and reducing CO2 emissions. We need to consider how our actions and purchases affect the environment, vulnerable ecosystems, local communities, and all living creatures. By choosing vegan and cruelty-free products, we can at least avoid harming animals.

Are Boar Bristle Brushes Vegan?

No, boar bristle brushes are not vegan. They are made from the bristles of a boar—an animal, not a plant. Despite the softness, durability, pleasant feel, gentle touch and natural origin of boar brushes, I consider them to be products of animal cruelty. I believe that boars do not willingly and happily give up their bristles. Therefore, I do not support these products and do not recommend them on my website.

How Long Does an Eco-Friendly Hair Brush Last?

Sustainable hair brushes are usually designed to be durable and long-lasting. Bamboo is a very sturdy material, which makes these brushes and combs a smart investment. If you take good care of a brush—keeping it clean and dry—it can last on average from one to three years.

Do Eco-Friendly Hair Brushes Work as Well as Traditional Ones?

Yes, eco-friendly hair brushes work as well as, and in many cases even better than, plastic ones. They are gentler on the hair, better at distributing natural oils throughout the hair, reduce static, and provide antibacterial treatment.

How Do You Clean an Eco-Friendly Hair Brush?

Cleaning a bamboo hair brush is not very different from cleaning a traditional piece. Use eco-friendly shampoo or soap and make sure you dry your brush thoroughly.

The procedure is the following:

1. Remove hair from the brush with your hands or a thin comb. 2. Wash it in a bowl of warm water with a bit of an eco-friendly shampoo or soap. Just shake a brush several times in a solution.

3. Scrub grime off the brush with an old toothbrush - dip it into the soapy water and gently scrub the brush between the bristles and from all sides.

4. Rinse a brush under a cool water. Shake off the brush to remove excess moisture.

5. Dry the brush by putting it on a clean cloth or paper bristles down. Choose a room with good air circulation and avoid direct sunlight.

Are there Eco-Friendly Brushes for Hair Styling?

The best styling brushes I've found so far are not 100% eco-friendly but are somewhat recyclable. They're made of natural fiber (though they still contain some plastic) and come in recyclable packaging. Not perfect, but it's a good step in the right direction:

I used to do a lot of styling with brushes, hair dryers, hair styling gels, etc., but lately, I've been doing way less of it. Partly because I can't find great sustainable hair styling products and prefer not to use excess electricity, and partly because I'm lazy :) So, I donated the majority of my styling products and now use simple brushes, a hair dryer, and a hair curler for special occasions.

Are Bamboo Hair Brushes and Combs More Expensive than Traditional Ones?

Prices can vary greatly, but affordable options are available for both eco-friendly and traditional products. For example, you can find bamboo and plastic brushes and combs for less than $10, and sets for less than $15. Although low-quality plastic brushes might be cheaper, investing in bamboo products is worthwhile for their durability and sustainable benefits.


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